Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Nebraska Humane Care Amendment

In the next few days, I'm going to be posting here a few excerpts from a FAQ document sent to me by the developers of the Humane Care Amendment that has been approved to go on the state ballot this fall. Here's the first installment...

What is the Nebraska Humane Care Amendment?

Humane Care is about protecting all Nebraskans from involuntary dehydration/starvation to death. This measure would guard any person, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, etc. from dehydration or starvation by any institution with a legal duty of care (such as a hospital, orphanage, prison, sanitarium or nursing home) if the withholding of food and water sustenance could reasonably result in death or grave physical harm. It allows, however, for honoring the will of any person who has expressly requested withholding of food or water under specific conditions, or delegated to relatives that decision, by means of a valid advance directive given previously.

Why is the Humane Care Amendment needed in the Nebraska Constitution?

For one thing, some big HMOs, hospitals, health corporations, so-called “bioethics committees”, university professors, doctors’ panels and others are supporting involuntary dehydration/starvation of patients when these elites judge that your life or the life of one of your loved ones is of insufficient value, inadequate social utility or is “burdensome”. People of color, people with disabilities, the elderly, the poor, and other minorities are at greatest risk that a corporate committee may deny them the basics of food and water, once they are under institutional control. Whether it’s a prison, hospital, orphanage, juvenile detention facility, foster home, nursing institution, or whatever, no institution should have that kind of unilateral life-or-death power over any vulnerable citizen -- perhaps one day you or your loved ones -- entrusted into its care. By specifying the fundamental human right of food and water in the Nebraska Constitution, we safeguard all Nebraskans from corporate lobbyists, special interests and shifting political winds in Lincoln.

Stay tuned for more...